Maintenance

Repairing Deck Dings

by Sail Staff, Posted May 13, 2010
When someone drops a winch handle, spinnaker pole or outboard shaft on a fiberglass deck, it will sometimes produce a minor ding in the gelcoat and fiberglass. Fortunately, most of these dings are relatively easy to fix. Here’s how.Hole in oneTo repair a minor ding or hairline crack, first use a Dremel tool to smooth the gelcoat

Get the Shine On

by Charles Mason, Posted March 23, 2010
Photos by Mark CorkeSimply removing accumulated dust and grit on your hull with a garden hose before the spring launch might make it a little cleaner, but to get a sparkle on your topsides you’ll have to spend a bit more time and effort. Fortunately, getting a spit-and-polish shine is neither difficult nor complicated. “I know some sailors honestly believe that they can pour

Epoxy in a tube

by Sail Staff, Posted March 23, 2010
Or two tubes, actually. One of the most useful items I used while prepping our project boat for a deck and cockpit makeover was a product called Flexpoxy, made by Pettit Paint. Flexpoxy comes in a double-tube package—one tube for resin, one for hardener. You insert them into the pump, squeeze some out, mix it together, and it’s ready to go.Flexpoxy will bond just about

Old-Boat Nightmares #2

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 23, 2010
I was watching our surveyor friend Norm Leblanc inspecting a 1970s Pearson. He was tapping the topsides with his trusty rubber-tipped hammer, sounding for all the world like a giant woodpecker. Suddenly, the sharp rap-rap-rap of the hammer changed to a hollow thud-thud-thud. “Uh-oh,” said Norm.He had been working along the bow sections, and when we looked closely, we could see a network of

Keel improvements

by Peter Nielsen, Posted June 22, 2009
Jabberwock, the BoatWorks project O’Day 25, was looking very scruffy around the underparts. The boat had been standing for so long that most of the paint had just fallen off the bottom, and the keel was looking particularly seedy. There was no way we could launch the boat with the keel in such bad condition. It was time for a makeover. A proper keel job done by a boatyard will cost

Keep it simple

by Sail Staff, Posted June 17, 2009
The decks on Horizon, our Hans Christian 38, are 20 years old and have seen the full spectrum of weather conditions—cold and rain for weeks on end in Alaska and constant sun and heat in the tropics. No matter where we are, our maintenance strategy is the same: keep it simple and keep it silver. As with anything boat-related, proper maintenance now is always much easier than an extensive

Get clear steering

by Don Casey, Posted April 15, 2009
I’ve seen it happen many times. A boat turns in to the channel between two piers at a marina but then begins to veer off line. The skipper makes a small steering adjustment, followed by a larger one, and then he realizes that the wheel is no longer connected to the rudder. What comes next is often not pleasant, and it is why you need to check your steering system at least once a

Blister repair

by Rosie Burr, Posted April 15, 2009
We know that every other year our annual haulout will involve a little more than just sanding and painting the bottom of Alianna, our 1983 Corbin 39. While some might call our problem osmosis, we like to say that we just have a few blisters. Simeon and I knew there might be blister problems when we bought the boat five years ago, but we didn’t have time to wait for the hull to dry out so we could

The forgotten details

by Nigel Calder, Posted April 15, 2009
I often hear from people who, after years of preparation, have set out on their first ocean crossing with a high degree of confidence in their boats. Then something really disconcerting happens—say, the propeller shaft disappears out of the back of the boat. It’s quite a confidence shaker. I’ve heard enough of these stories to be able to identify several easily prevented but potentially

Deck makeover

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 12, 2009
As part of the refit of our project boat, Ostara, a 1973 Norlin 34, I decided to scrap its vintage hydraulic system for tensioning the backstay, boomvang, and babystay, along with the control panel in the cockpit. In its new role as a coastal cruiser and occasional racer, the boat had no need for such powerful trimming gear or for hoses full of hydraulic oil leading
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